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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  September 1, 2020 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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>> a stressful couple of weeks to say the least. >> i'll be reading axios a.m. in just a bit you too can sign up for the news leletter at signup.axios.com. that does it for me this morning. i'm yasmin vossoughian. "morning joe" starts now. i want to make something clear, rioting is not protesting, looting is not protesting, setting fires is not protesting. none of this is protesting p. it's lawlessness plain and simple. and those who do it should be prosecuted. >> you did not mention that your supporters were also in portland this weekend firing paint ball guns at people, pepper spray, so do you want to take the chance to condemn what your supporters did? >> i understand they had large number of peoples and that was a peaceful protest.
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paint is not bullets. >> they're shooting paint, first of all, they're driving through and shooting paint and spraying people on the sides of the streets, and again he still -- you know, mika, it's incredible. you have two candidates yesterday, and even for those who have the reality distortion fields around donald trump, it's obvious even to them. you have two sets of candidates. one candidate is condemning violence from both sides. and he talks about protests that are reduced into violence and lawlessness will not be tolerated and he said they should be prosecuted. >> yeah. >> on the other side you have another candidate, in this case the president of the united states, who refuses to condemn
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violence, who encourages people to go in and stir up violence. and i thank "the wall street journal" editorial page, i commend them i guess i should say for yesterday telling the president to cut that out because that's just stirring up violence. and then you have the president who still won't condemn a 17-year-old boy, a boy, who left his home in illinois, i heard his mom driving, i can't believe that -- >> oh my god. >> -- left his home, went around trying to defend property that was not his, to a town that was not his own, and ended up killing two people and wounding a third. it's very telling, of course, that sort of tragic vigilanteism
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followed donald trump actually promoting and clglorifying at t rnc people that held up guns in front of their homes and pointed those guns at people who were marching past. and we're going to show some new polls that are out this morning. >> we're going to get to them. >> but for people that lose faith in the common sense of most americans, they can see through this and you'll see in polls in a minute how they are seeing through the this. i predicted, as it was happening, that june 1st was going to be a defining moment in this campaign that donald trump beating up protesters with the help of barr, peaceful protesters, and gassing them so he could hold a bible upside
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down in a way that holding a bible that senator langford said he'd never seen anybody hold a bible that way, despite the fact he's been studying the bible every day his entire life. that was michael dukakis in the tank in 1988, it was one of those moments, it didn't work. i got to say that i fear that rittenhouse, the 17-year-old kid, just running around shooting and killing protesters coming at him with a skateboard is going to be another such defining moment, because this is the chaos that donald trump has let loose. why do i say that? because donald trump won't condemn it. he won't tell people to stay
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home. he won't condemn qanon, he won't condemn the worst elements of american society. he will if it's on the left. he will if it's in cities -- what he calls democratic cities. but the problem with that is the kenosha police department told us yesterday that of the people arrested in those protests, the overwhelming majority came from outside the city. in fact, they came from 44 different cities. the people of kenosha, which donald trump claims is a democratic town, i guess, they're being invaded by people that donald trump would say were from his america. see, donald, it's all of your
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america. you don't understand that and you never will. i personally believe that's why you're going to be voted out in the fall, because we are one america. and i wish you could do what joe biden is doing right now, and that is condemn violence on all sides in the strongest of terms. >> what we saw yesterday and we'll show you a lot this morning, joe biden in a powerful speech and donald trump went out and talked again as well. and you see the difference between someone who loves this country, respects the constitution, respects the law and knows good when he sees it and knows evil when he sees it. and then you see a president who, it is what it is, or we'll see what happens. who likes to sort of keep that chaos moving along. and that's the choice in just a matter of days, actually -- >> and you know, mika, also, this is the same guy and we
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brought it up in real time when he was doing it, i wrote about it in "the washington post" column. this is a guy that constantly talked about beating up people back in the good old days they used to beat up people and drag them out. and if you beat up people i will pay for your defense. and you know, i had long said that he was disqualified back even in february after he denied knowing who david duke and the kkk was. think about this, remember, folks, he was talking about second amendment solutions to stop hillary clinton from selecting federal judges and supreme court justices. he was suggesting that the people who support second amendment assassinate hillary clinton. i remember writing an op-ed there saying the republican party has no choice they have to
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take him off the ticket. they haven't. so now, we are here they're coming up on an election, mika. they've ignored all these warnings for four years and they're going to be routed. >> everything he has seemingly joked about is true. >> it's not a joke with him. >> wouldn't want to see him on fifth avenue. with us we have host of kasie dc on msnbc, kasie hunt. columnist and associate editor of "the washington post," eugene robinson. and chief white house correspondent for the "new york times," peter baker. let's get to the new poll you were talking about, joe. new morning consult poll out just now showing the race between joe biden and president trump largely unmoved by both party conventions. nationally biden is up by 8 over president trump. 51 to 43%. >> you know, mika, on the battleground state levels the
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numbers look unchanged in some areas, but there are exceptions. >> look at this. >> in arizona, the -- if you just look at these numbers, the rnc was disastrous for donald trump. joe biden jumping seven points to reach 52%. he's now ten points up in a must-win state for donald trump. other key states, biden holding a ten-point lead in michigan. a state that the trump campaign has been saying for a month they may have to abandon. 52% to 42%. he's up big in colorado, by nine. he's up seven in wisconsin and in minnesota and four in pennsylvania. in georgia, in georgia, the former vice president is up by three points. north carolina and florida have tightened. biden up by two.
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in texas, trump is up by one. and in ohio, donald trump is -- seems to be locking that down a bit. but you go back to the numbers, there are two numbers, peter baker that are going to jump out not just for the trump campaign, the biden campaign, and i think also they should jump out for people in the media that keep talking about kenosha. here are the two numbers, first number, arizona. huge jump in arizona we'll see if other polls follow along there. but then, in wisconsin, morning consult when they released this poll said, most notably, joe biden's support among white voters in this wisconsin is unchanged from before the conventions and even after the recent riots in kenosha. a lot to digest in all those
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polls. what are some of your takeaways? >> i think that's right. it's one poll and it's hard to get too worked up about any individual poll. remember, we have a lot of time to go, this is only a few days since the conventions but this should give some relief to democrats who are worried that president trump has gained some traction with the law and order issue in recent days, if wisconsin at this point is still strongly behind biden if the numbers there are as they are in the morning consult poll, that may tell them that they are less vulnerable than they had thought. there's no question in the recent few days that the trump campaign has felt some sense of momentum, some sense of having a more, you know, sustained message they could rely on, talk about something other than the coronavirus and the economy. and that will rile their voters and get their own base going. if it's not working for them, we'll see if that continues after labor day. i think you'll see more of it today when the president arrives
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in kenosha, he's planning to be there with law enforcement, tour some damaged areas and highlight what he points to as the me radding mobs in the street. he's not scheduled to meet with the family of jacob blake, the black man shot seven times in the back and whose incident sparked some of the most recent protests and violence in the streets. he's taking one side, not trying to calm people. he does see this as a political issue. he's made it very clear he sees it in partisan-terms. these are democrat led cities he said and lays it at the feet of joe biden, as if biden was responsible for the violence in the streets. >> gene robinson, this is actually, if you step back, and you even listen to what the white house -- people close to donald trump are saying in the white house, this is really the equivalent of a political smoke bomb.
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they are doing everything possible to stop the media and stop the democrats and stop americans from looking at those numbers in the coronavirus, over 180,000 people dead. over six million people in america affected by it. the united states doing more poorly than everybody else and donald trump has made the calculation, i am going to tweet 90 times on sunday morning. maybe, just maybe, people won't be talking about the coronavirus, because when they talk about the coronavirus i'm losing. so a 17-year-old kid going around shooting people, okay. donald trump is thinking that will distract. people will talk about that. chaos in portland, okay, let's talk about that. that stops americans from looking at the coronavirus and the 6 million americans who have had the coronavirus. and -- but gene, while we do that, let's just jump back to these polls for one second, because i think it's fascinating, one of the funniest
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things i heard was the white house staff high fiving each other after june the 1st. funny because just how bad their political instincts are because the second we saw it they knew it was going to be a dy tisaste and they thought that was going to be a success. and they're going around telling anyone who will listen the president's new law and order pitch is going to be great for him as well. in fact, it's not, it's going to blow up in his face politically. >> this trip to kenosha he's taking today could be just like the june 1st debacle. it could end up driveing voters away rather than bringing them to his side. you're right that the white house is trying to use kenosha and portland as a smoke screen, as a diversion for the obvious
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reasons they just stated, they don't want to talk about the coronavirus. it's kind of a weird thing to try, because we all live with the coronavirus every day. this defines our lives in a way that few external factors can define the lives of every american. so it's a dubious strategy, i think, to avoid it. but he's trying to avoid it because he has nothing good to say about it. so he's trying to use this -- the issue of protest and the violence, the chaos which he loves as a way of creating some sort of illusion of momentum for the trump campaign. before we saw this polling, i -- i think i wrote in my column this morning that it was an illusion of momentum i think if
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the polling is right, it is clearly an illusion. and, in fact, if there's momentum in the swing states it looks like it's in the opposite direction. but we'll see, it's just one poll. so we'll see. >> well, i'm -- amid the backdrop of violent protests that have escalated across the country in recent days, former vice president joe biden has launched a new attack against president trump during a visit to battleground pennsylvania yesterday, biden gave a blistering speech. accusing trump of sowing chaos and division. in his remarks, biden directly challenged trump's claim that americans won't be safe if democrats win in november and condemned the recent violence seen in several u.s. cities. >> i want to make it absolutely clear, so let me be very clear about all of this. rioting is not protesting. looting is not protesting.
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setting fires is not protesting. none of this is protesting. it's lawlessness plain and simple. and those who do it should be prosecut prosecuted. you know me. you know my heart. you know my story. my family's story. ask yourself, do i look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? really? i want a safe america. safe from covid, safe from crime and looting. safe from racially motivated violence. safe from bad cops. let me be crystal clear, safe from four more years of donald trump. but look, if donald trump wants to ask the question who will keep you safer as president? let's answer that question. first, some simple facts. when i was vice president, violent crime fell 15% in this
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country. we did it without chaos and disorder. this is a sitting president of the united states of america. he's supposed to be protecting this country. instead he's rooting for chaos and violence. the simple truth is, donald trump failed to protect america. so now, he's trying to scare america. donald trump has been a toxic presence in our nation for four years. poisoning how we talk to one another. poisoning how we treat one another. poisoning the values this nation has always held dear. poisoning our very democracy. now, just a little over 60 days, we have a decision to make. will we rid ourselves of this toxin or will we make a permanent -- make it a permanent part of our nation's character?
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>> campaigns are all about contrasts, especially when you're challenging somebody. the contrast between joe biden, decency exhibited there in that statement and donald trump, could not be more extreme. especially in these chaotic times. >> terrible times. >> yeah, terrible times. and joe biden also talked about how most cops were good cops and when they put on that badge and went out at night, they were putting their lives on the line i ev every single night and he believed he could bring people together, and have police and protesters at the same table and work through police reforms. kasie hunt, despite the fact that joe biden said repeatedly he condemns the violence, you have trump supporters and people in the blog-sphere and trump media saying he won't condemn
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the violence. he did it yesterday in unambiguous terms. what do you think the impact is? >> you saw it there, we played it for everyone. i think the fact that joe biden went and played this speech i think shows that he himself thought it was important from a moral perspective to make that argument. it shows they were feeling political pressure and imperative to make sure they were going back and pushing back against the momentum the trump campaign has been feeling because of what we've been seeing. but i think this comes down to what has become the central narrative of this race and the central problem for donald trump, which is that he keeps trying to convince americans that joe biden isn't somebody that he obviously is. americans have been living with joe biden as a public figure for 50 years and that's why he can stand there on a stage and say, ro look at me, do i look like the kind of guy that thinks this is
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okay and have people believe him. if you're the trump campaign and you want to make the argument i'm the law and order guy, it's safer if i'm the president of the united states. you have to look people in the face and say, and have them think, things will definitely be calmer, the temperature will be reduced, i will feel safer and less on edge if donald trump is president of the united states. and, you know, i would submit to you that a lot of the people in the polls that we showed, the battleground polls, perhaps don't necessarily feel like the next four years will be calmer and more straightforward if president trump is in the white house. >> especially, mika, if he is not discouraging violent activities. if he's encouraging people to go in, in the middle of a hot zone, and rile things up, that obviously causes a serious
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problem. and that's what americans can see. i think most americans look at portland, kenosha, and they want law enforcement to step up and with the guidance of the mayors and the governors to clean things up in those streets and to stop the violence. they do not want the president of the united states having people drive in from other states with caravans to go around and shoot paint guns and spray gas, tear gas or whatever they were spraying at the protesters, and make the situation even more volatile. that is the opposite of being a law and order president and turning off voters. >> the president may see it as his way of getting voters. >> it doesn't work. june the 1st didn't work. sowing chaos doesn't work. saying when the looting starts the shooting starts doesn't work. saying i have dogs i'm going to release and they're going to cut
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through you like butter, that doesn't work from a president. how long will it take the president to understand that churning up disorder for a nation already on edge not the answer. >> how many people will get hurt and killed. >> what americans want, simple. coordinate with local officials, ask what you can do, how you can help with the national guard. and if they tell you that you shouldn't come because your presence will be disruptive at this point, you actually listen to them. it's just -- you know, the same thing happens from time to time with hurricanes where governors will say to presidents, mr. president thank you for being interested in this, but can you give us four or five days because we're still cleaning up on the ground right now, things are volatile, come four or five days from now, and you know what, presidents listen to that and they come later.
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this president wants to go into the middle of a situation because he's hoping to stir up more unrest. >> we'll continue this conversation but we want to get to other news of the day. today is the massachusetts senate primary and democrats are facing a decision between two tough political forces. the race is between incumbent senator ed markey, the longest serving member of the massachusetts congressional delegation and challenger joe kennedy iii, the grandson of robert f kennedy. markey has touted his credentials and environmental advoca advocacy, including his authorship of the green new deal with alexandria ocasio-cortez. kennedy who is 39 years old said the party needs new voice s on number of issues including racial issues.
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kennedy has been backed by speaker nancy pelosi and supported by the late civil rights icon, congressman john lewis. a few polls show markey with a lead over kennedy, a difference from a year ago when kennedy led markey by a wide margin. the board of trustees at liberty university announced it hired an independent forensics firm to conduct a, quote, thorough investigation of its operations during its tenure of jerry fa falwell jr. he was placed on leave last month. and just last week reports emerged of an alleged affair between his wife and a former business partner. now liberty university, which prohibits extramarital relations
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in its honor code said the investigation is included but not limited to financial, real estate, and legal matters. jerry falwell told the washington examiner that his wife did have an affair saying his business partner, quote, began to reveal the relationship with becki and to embarrass my wife, family, and liberty university unless we agreed to pay him substantial moneys. and just last week, michael cohen, president trump's fixer currently serving a three-year prison sentence confirmed that falwell asked him for help in handling, quote, racy photos of falwell's wife. he and he said he asked for cohen's help in burying the photos. falwell has been a supporter of trump, providing him with an
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evil endorsement over ted cruz. everybody thought he was going to endorse cruz. >> cruz opened his campaign there. >> most people were surprised when he came through with an endorsement for president trump. in a text message to "the washington post," cohen addressed the endorsement texting quote, i asked the falwells as a personal favor to me to assist with the lagging trump campaign in iowa. we learned yesterday that the legendary georgetown basketball coach john thompson passed away. he built the program to a power house. he was the first african-american coast to win a ncaa championship, leading georgetown to the 1984 title. he mentored eight first round draft picks and 26 overall, including patrick ewing, allen
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iverson. thompson was 78 years old. >> i was watching nba on tnt last night and they were talking about john thompson, talking about him like he was their father. kenny smith had extraordinary stories and just how he constantly was keeping in touch with him, even though he played at unc. and when dean smith died, of course, the legendary coach that coached kenny smith and michael jordan and others, john thompson called him and said, you're all mine now, i'm taking care you. shaq couldn't say enough about him. gene robinson, charles barkley, a man who doesn't go around complimenting many people said he thought -- immediately he thought of, you know, patrick
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ewing and a couple other players, alonzo morning, and thought of them and said, you know, they were like john thompson's son and they're three of the best men that i know. >> that's right. >> a lot of that has to do with the fact that john thompson, he -- like all great coaches, he -- he didn't look at the game as the most important thing. he saw the game as a proving ground where he could teach these young men how to live their lives. and my god, what a life he himself lived. >> yes, he cared more about molding good men than molding good basketball players. and he -- you can tell his success at that from, you know, ewing, ma tom bow, alonso morning, allen iverson, who credited him with saving his
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life. he took a chance on allen iverson, a kid who had been in some trouble, who could have been on a dead-end path. and nba hall of famer because of the molding and instruction that he got from john thompson and his players might be -- it might be too much to say they worshipped him but they adored him, looked up to him. as did the whole community. he was a fixture here in washington for all those years leading the team and now, of course, his protege, patrick ewing is the coach of the georgetown team, so the legacy continues. and i think patrick ewing is trying to keep that legacy
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alive. >> "the washington post" talked about how a lot of white basketball observers resented him because many years he only had black players on his team and on his bench, and said a lot of black people in basketball were critical of him because they didn't feel like he did enough to promote civil rights. you couldn't -- i mean, you didn't congratulate john thompson for being the first black man to win the naac -- he'd get mad at you. the thing i loved him about from a distance was he didn't give a da d damn. >> no, he didn't. >> he was his own man, he was going to do what he was going to do. and if you didn't like it, too bad. >> he was going to do things his
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own way. he could be picklely. he could tell you to go to hell. but he had instincts and deep convictions and they were good ones. he really will be missed. one one of a kind. and now goes into the pantheon of the great coaches of our time. >> all right. still ahead on "morning joe," joe just said that campaigns are about contrasts. we'll compare what biden said yesterday in denouncing violence with donald trump comparing police shooting civilians to golfers who choke and miss 3 foot putts. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. joe." we'll be right back. and wherever you're headed, choice hotels is there.
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your connection doesn't. but what if no one's in the office? bring the office to them. but is it secure? sure it's secure. okay, sounds great. so how do i do this? you don't do this. we do this, together. bounce forward, with comcast business. in a second notable decision of the day, the d.c. circuit
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court of appeals declined to dismiss the case against former national security advisor michael flynn and sent it back to the lower court. in an 8-2 decision, the court declined the grant outright of the justice department's motion to withdraw charges against flynn. it also declined to remove district court judge emmitt sullivan from the case. the decision frees judge sullivan to decide the motion. he's likely to proceed with a hearing on the reasons behind the doj's request to drop charges against flynn after the former national security advisor pled guilty twice to lying to the fbi. sullivan may also proceed with his appointment of a former new york federal judge to argue against the government's motion. the case is expected to proceed for several more months. >> so peter baker, this saga continues. >> not letting it go.
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>> it appears you have enough federal judges who are not willing to allow a man, the justice department, to set free a man who has already pled guilty twice to serious crimes in a serious investigation before this federal judge gets a chance to question the justice department on why the hell they're letting a guy go who's already admitted -- >> to what he did. >> -- to what he did twice. he pled guilty. sounds like this is a level of corruption from barr and the doj that these federal judges just can't stomach. >> look, the, you know, the federal government is required to get the leave of a judge to drop a case in this circumstance and what the appeals court is saying is that's not a rubber stamp. the judge has the right to look at the circumstances before giving a verdict on whether the justice department can drop that
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case. there are circumstances that are still questioning here what the attorney general is saying not that michael flynn didn't lie to investigators necessarily but he shouldn't have been asked the questions in the first place. the government didn't have enough pause to investigate what it was investigating at the time they questioned michael flynn and, therefore, his answers untruth full as they were were not federal and not a crime. that's an argument that michael flynn himself didn't advance when he pleaded guilty. he accepted that he had misled the investigators and he is culpable for it. the attorney general and justice department came in and said, no, let's rethink that. they did it, of course, after the president made publically clear what his position on it was, which is the case should go away. attorney general barr said that was not influential on him, but it's hard to see why, you know, a lot of americans would accept that given the president was very open and public about what
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he wanted the justice department to do and the justice department did what he asked them to do, in effect. >> not only that. not only did he do that at the time that barr decided to be his roy kohn, let a guilty man walk free, you can go all the way back to when donald trump first sat down for dinner with james comey and what was he doing? pressuring comey for a couple of things. one, a loyalty pledge. and two, to just let general flynn off the hook. he's a good guy. don't pursue that case against him. don't do it. and he kept doing that over and over again. and, of course, when comey wouldn't comply. when comey continued the investigations, what did he do? he fired the fbi director and bragged about it to the russians inside the white house. and here we are, three years later, and now he has his roy
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kohn, the guy he wanted his as attorney general, a guy that is doing an unspeakable act against the rule of law, which is trying to desperately to force a federal judge to let a guilty man go free because the president of the united states wants that guilty man abwilliam barr -- guilty man, an ally to go free. >> let's bring in michael schmidt, author of the new book "donald trump versus the united stat states," inside the struggle to stop a president. great to have you on the show, michael. you have a couple revelations that have come out recently, what do you think the key revelations are and what did you learn about the president that you didn't know before? >> well, what i tried to do in this book was tell the story of what it's like to be one of the
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people sort of standing between the president and the abyss. for all of -- or much of american history we've focused on how presidents use their power, how the people around them help the president do that. what that means about the president. what that means about the moment. what it says about the country. and with trump we've just seen an incredibly unusual phenomenon, and that is that the people around the president are trying to contain the president. so what is it like to be one of those containers? what is it like to stand up to the president? if you're the fbi director or the white house counsel, there's no other fbi director or white house counsel to call, you're the 911 operator. there's no other 911 operate oro call. so what do you do? what is that like? what is that human experience like?
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what does it feel like to be one of those people? and you can read the book and see, what would you have done? what would you have done if the president said go fire robert mueller, and you were the white house counsel, how would you have handled that? >> michael, why don't you tell us. you had that happening to don mcghan, corey lewandowski, it happened to a lot of people. i'm sure he walked up to, you know, secret service people at some point and asked them to fire -- i mean, he was asking everybody to do that firing and do other things that he didn't want to do. how did they respond differently? >> well, that's the thing about donald trump is that he's sort of this human mri machine into -- that gets you a chance to see into the souls of these different people and how they will response. and what is it that means to them? in the case of jim comey. jim comey was never going to
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bend to the president. he was never going to give in. you mentioned the loyalty dinner, asking him to stop the michael flynn investigation, those were never going to work with jim comey. with don mcghan he was the white house counsel but he never again has a chance to remake the federal courts. he's in the white house and believes in that cause and his ability to follow through on that, probably more so than the president does. so he has to, and he decides to sort of balance trying to deal with trump to stay in his position because he wants to be there to do that. as i write in the book, in the spring of 2018, mcgahn was under an enormous amount of pressure. his lawyer, bill burk, wanted mcgahn to leave. he knew the mueller report would be coming out soon and they
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wanted to see the things that mcgahn told investors. but mcgahn thinks he can hear in kennedy's voice from arguments in the court that kennedy may step down, may retire. and mcgahn believes that even though he probably can't even stop trump that well anymore, he wants to stay. because if he doesn't stay he doesn't think that kennedy will retire because he doesn't trust that -- because kennedy wouldn't trust that trump wouldn't put a wrecking ball on the court. so don mcghan says if i can stay in the white house through the end of the term in june, maybe i'll get a shot at another person on the court. and he stays through that and kennedy goes ahead and retires and mcgahn has a shot and helps -- basically moves forward with the kavanaugh nomination and has sort of the ultimate stand in that and comes out with that. and it's sort of this remarkable
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story of how do you navigate a president when the president may be the problem. it's just -- you just don't see that a lot. >> kasie hunt is with us and has a question. kasie? >> michael, congratulations on the book. i won the loyalty question, i will say. i think it was john kelly who used the phrase saying no to president trump is like french kissing a chain saw, which i thought was particularly evocative and awful. can you explain how bill barr fits into this narrative you are talking about. joe called him trump's roy cohn. i talked to republicans who were surprised -- he cast himself as this george h.w. bush long-time republican standing in defense of these norms and they've seen how he conducted himself as attorney general and said, that's not necessarily what we signed up for this. how does he fit in with the
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paradigm that you're talking about? >> the thing about barr is that trump's behavior makes the perception of barr even worse. because here's the thing. as we're talking about with john kelly, i write in the book about how trump called kelly the day after he fired comey and he said i want you to be the fbi director and i need you to be loyal to me and me alone. kelly says get lost i'm going to be loyal to the constitution. i'm not your guy for that. in the case of trump we know he asked comey for his loyalty and then he asked kelly for his loyalty as he was trying to fill that position. so then that raises the question, how did chris wray become the fbi director? we know he asked the -- you know that he asked comey for loyalty and we know that he asked kelly for loyalty right after he left. so it creates this question, if you get into one of these
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positions, how did you get there? the president fired jeff sessions and openly said that he fired sessions because sessions had recused himself from the russia investigation, one of the most disloyal things that anyone has ever done to trump. he's been very, very public about that. so if that is how trump viewed these people and he got rid of them and didn't put them in positions because they wouldn't be loyal to him, then how do you get that position? how did you get there? look, we have no evidence that he asked chris wray for his loyalty to become the fbi director. we have no evidence he did that with barr, but we have a lot of evidence about how he dealt with the people before them and the folks that he got rid of in those positions. when he fired sessions he really, really wanted to fire sessions. >> but at the same time, chris wray has spoken out independently several times over the past couple of years. if if he gave a blind loyalty
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test, he certainly -- has he not been acting differently than, say, barr, who has rubber stamped everything that donald trump has wanted him to rubber stamp. >> the interesting thing about wray is he's gone in the complete opposite direction of comey. comey was someone who believed that problems could be killed with transparency and the facts and being out there and talking and he used the fbi director position as a bully pulpit of sorts in ways we had never seen before. people criticized him for that. he went through the entire email experience and in some ways felt burnt by that. but ray has gone in the opposite direction. you don't see wray, hear from wray, occasionally he'll go to the hill, occasionally do an interview. but it's clearly a mentality you see with wray where if he puts his head down, he can potentially avoid some of the problems that comey had, but
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stay out of the president's ire. we do know and do hear that the president is frustrated with wray, i think in ways he's not frustrated with barr because he is upset with the fbi still about the flynn matter and about documents that trump wants produced to congress and such. so the path of wray and barr, in trump's eyes have been different and barr has come publicly to trump's side in a way that certainly has surprised me. >> gene robinson is with us and has a question. gene? >> michael, congratulations on the book. my question is, how do people like mcgahn and kelly deal with the moral dimension of this? they see, clearly, who donald trump is, what he is, and yet
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they continue to serve him and to advance not only their personal aims, but his aims as well. no matter what they are. so how do they deal with that morally? >> i think the examples of kelly and mcgahn are particularly interesting, because from the outside they may just look as two people around the president who were trying to contain him. but interestingly, they come from different vantage points. john kelly, my guess is, would have become hillary clinton's chief of staff if she had asked him. john kelly i think would have served for any president and saw this as serving. and, you know, you serve your country in different ways and if you can do this. i think kelly went into this and thought i can do more good in here than i can bad if i try and grab the steering wheel and i'll
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try and grab the steering wheel as long as i can -- as long as i can take it and do that because i think that this president could potentially do harm and there needs to be some sort of adult here. it's a compromise that people have to make, but the president's behavior unnerves people in such a way. as i learn in the book about mcgahn. mcgahn was never really offended by trump's behavior. mcgahn is sort of identified with a lot of trumpism and may have believed in trumpism more than actually trump did. mcgahn was a big time libertarian, he believed in the idea that a lot of americans had been left behind by trade. that you needed to have a judiciary stacked with these very conservative judges. he liked the idea that trump was going to smash things. mcgahn thinks the federal government is out of control. so he's a very political person
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that wi that believed in these causes and he knew he had this once in a never again opportunity to remake the courts. trump wasn't going to get worked up about who the judges were. mcgahn was going to be a sort of committee of one and bring the judges to him and ram them through. and mcgahn was going to have a chance to change the country for decades and decades to come. so he did that and put up with a lot of trump's behavior, tried to stop trump from himself and became the chief witness to the president in an extense shl threat to trump. >> the new book is "donald trump against the united states". michael schmidt congratulations. peter baker thank you for being on. what are you looking at today? >> following the president and his trip to kenosha today. i think that's going to be a big moment brought as we talked about earlier, the governor,
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mayor, both democrats, asked him not to come. he's going to be meeting with law enforcement, touring damaged parts of the city. we'll be watching to see how this president handles something that other presidents have struggled to a calm a situation. this is a president that doesn't go for calm. so i think all eyes will be on kenosha today. >> coming up the number of americans infected with coronavirus tops 6 million and yet the stock market just notched its best august in 34 years. steve ratner joins us to explain what's happening here and where we are going. "morning joe" is back in a moment. [♪]
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they say that when you walk through the streets of portland, this is years and years of
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burning and -- >> the last on the da90 days. >> no one bad apple or a choker. they choke just like in a golf tournament they miss a -- >> you're not comparing it to golf? >> they want low income housing with that comes other problems, including crime -- >> you're not saying all poor people are criminals, though? >> no, i'm not saying that at all. >> just a few of the times laura ingram tried to save the president from himself. >> she did herself. it's like james ingrams, i did my best but i guess my best wasn't goo enoud enough. it's like shooting a guy in the back seven times, it's like missing a putt. you're not comparing it to golf, are you? no. when poor people come in -- you're not saying all poor people are criminals, no.
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>> it's tuesday, september 1st. kasie hunt and eugene robinson are still with us. and joining the conversation we have msnbc national affairs analyst executive producer of the recount, john heileman. axios reporter alexi mchammond joins us. and mark leibovich joins us as well. >> john heileman, a couple of things to take from donald trump's interview with laura last night. one, first of all, he made the mistake of telling the truth at the beginning -- >> whoops. >> when he said this has been going on in portland for years. and it has been going on in portland for years. worse in the last 90 days, right. but then you get to the heart of
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the matter as we're going through a lot of '80s songs we'll do the don henley one there. he then compares the shooting of a black man seven times in the back with a putter choking on a 3-foot putt. and then he says -- talks about poor people moving into the suburbs and bringing crime. what he -- he said, low income housing you have a lot of problems, crime a level of violence that you don't see, and then, of course, the money line, the poll quote was when he started talking about the danger of women. the old standard 1870s we've got to protect our white women from black people, which is what he said. >> yes. >> so this isn't even 1950s bigotry. he's going back to the 1800s
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here. so much so that laura ingram is trying to walk him through this. but the entire thing is so extraordinarily offensive and retro grade that i just -- i have no idea what century this man is from and how he thinks that sort of talk wins elections. >> yeah, good morning, joe, mika, hi. >> hi. >> i think it's easy, joe, maybe to miss. i mean, the housing one, which is obviously in line with his thinking about this. he's been talking about it, the whole destruction of the suburbs, low income housing is going to destroy the suburbs he made moves on policy consistent with this, reflective of his racism and it's outfront. the poor people housing -- that poor people -- low income homes
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come to the suburbs and destroys the 1950s notion of the white suburbs. we heard this from him before and this is an extreme version. when you have laura ingram having to throw you a lifeline on your racism, you know you're in trouble. that's when it's time to cash out on life. the golf thing is so grotesque it's easy to miss the racism in it by the way. he's equating the value of an unarmed black man's life with that of a golf putt. he's saying the level of injury a golfer, historically white sport, a golfer missing a 3-foot putt is equivalent in the harm it causes, what's at stake there, as the life of an unarmed black man that's shot in the back seven times. if you focus on it, that's a
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thing not completely obvious how racist it is until you think it through. he's getting to the point now he can't control these eruptions of the nakedness of his racism. again, all through that interview last night, there was another incredible exchange with laura ingram about dark forces on airplanes flying to the convention dressed in black, a lot of references to black in the discussion who were coming allegedly to washington to disrupt his convention, which i think was stolen from some discredited facebook meme. his racism now is so desperate that he's not even trying to cloak his racism in the way he used to try a little bit to speak in code. he's now gone all out, straight up, on tv with laura ingram, bigot. we're still 64 days out. imagine where we get between now and november. >> it frightens me. let's play what you just spoke
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about john heileman. we played the small clip. let's play a longer clip to get a full sense of the interview, take a look. >> i don't like to mention biden because he's not controlling anything. >> who do you think is pulling biden's strings? former obama officials? >> people you never heard of. people in the dark shadows. >> that sounds like conspiracy, theory, dark shadows, that is that? >> >> people on the streets, people controlling the streets. we had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that. they're on a plane -- >> where was this? >> i'll tell you some time, but it's under investigation right now. >> you think the suburbs are in danger with biden is elected? we know the cities are in danger but are the suburbs? they say that's fear mongering. >> west chester was ground zero
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for what they were trying to do. they were trying to destroy the suburban beautiful -- the american dream, really. they want low income housing and with that comes a lot of other problems, including crime -- >> you're not saying all poor people are criminals though? >> no, i'm not saying that at all. but there is a level of violence that you don't see. so you have this beautiful community in the suburbs, including women, right, women, they want security. i ended where they build low income housing project in the middle of your neighborhood. i ended it. if biden gets in he said it's going to be at a much higher rate than ever before. and you know who's in charge of it, cory booker. okay. shooting the guy in the back, couldn't you have done something different, couldn't you have wrestled him? in the meantime he might have been going for a weapon, it's a
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whole big thing there. but they choke, like in a golf tournament. >> you're not comparing it to golf because that's what the media will say? >> no. i'm saying people choke. >> he compared shooting a black man in the back seven times to missing a 3-foot golf putt. let's say that again, donald trump, the president of the united states, compared shooting a man seven times in the back with missing a 3-foot golf putt. and on the suburbs, low income housing, crime comes with it and as laura was trying to correct him, it might not be nice but crime comes. and then he blurts out women. we've got to protect the white women. again, gene robinson. this is a racist trope not out of 1955, it's out of like 1855.
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it's out of 1870. i mean, this is -- you know, this is -- and i -- one other one, the dark shadows. planes completely loaded with -- with -- with -- it sounds like bad guys from avenger movies. it is so unmoored. it is so out of like right field. it is straight from the pages of q-anon. i just got to say, my friends and relatives that think this guy is it worthy of their vote, gene, i must say, i didn't understand it three years ago. it's getting even more difficult to understand today. that man on that interview was completely unhinged. >> yes, i mean, those -- let's separate this into two buckets. the stuff about the dark shadows, people in the dark
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shadows, you know, you've never heard of them. and she's -- she's like puzzled about this. you know, basically stop. this sounds like a conspiracy theory but he keeps going. that's totally unhinged. the rest of it is just flatout racism of a kind -- >> flatout racism. white supremacy. >> of a kind that tom thurman, in my youth in south carolina was more sophisticated and subtle than that. he would have been more sophisticated and subtle in his racism than the president of the united states is right now. he's just completely -- and this has to be coming from somewhere deep inside. i think. i don't think this is just tactical or strategic. i think this is who donald trump is, just a flatout racist. and the 1870 variety, apparently. >> yeah. this is not latent.
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this is overt. and mark leibovich, we can talk about him comparing the shooting of a black man -- that's like missing a 3-foot putt. they choked. they just choked. that's one thing. but again, we talk about the suburbs and bringing low income housing into the suburbs and talking about the crime that comes with it. and talking about the women like we have to protect our white women. he sees that he's down in the suburbs. he thinks this is how he wins votes in the suburbs, without understanding this is exactly why he's been losing white, educated voters in the suburbs since charlottesville. >> yeah, and if you look at public opinion on trump and his various issues. what he really lost on this summer was whenever he talked about race, whenever, you know,
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there was an incident around lafayette park, around the demonstrations in this june and the late spring. that's when he really lost suburban voters. people will focus on the bites of that interview last night, the golf putt thing, the 3-foot putt thing. but the entirety of the riff is the kind of thing that suburban voters, any voters persuadable in any direction would see and wonder is this going anywhere good? the plane with the people dressed in black, right, is -- remember when ross perot said that thing about, you know, he kind of said george bush was going to disrupt my daughter's wedding and that became the thing that people focused on for weeks in that election in 1992. this was an entire interview of that, and really you sort of wonder, look the contours of the race seem to be coming into focus the last few days.
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maybe the polls were tightening after the conventions, maybe a contrast was being drawn in a way that could have been a path to victory and setting the race on a course that's in a better place for the president. but you wonder what something like this does to any kind of unified message in any kind of place that the trump campaign is trying to bring where their message is. >> this kind of talk, ross perot when he talked about black panthers scaling the walls of his yard to disrupt his daughter's wedding, that finished his campaign. trent lot says a stray word or two complimenting strum thurman, ends his career. you have people on tv that have said far less than what donald trump said last night, ended their career. donald trump, i guarantee you, anybody on television compared the killing of a black man seven times to missing a 3-foot putt,
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they'd lose their job by the end of the day. if a governor said that, a university president said that, if you had a ceo saying, boy, that low income housing in suburbs, white women are going to be in trouble and crime is going to go up, they would lose their job. the board would vote them off by the end of the day. a high school football coach if he or she said such things would lose their jobs by the end of the day. but donald trump is still president of the united states. >> so let's take a look at really a stark contrast between vice president biden and president trump. yesterday biden had a speech, the question is should he do this every day or is this measured disciplined approach where he steps out like this more effective? there is a stark contrast between these two men on the simple issue of denouncing violence. take a listen.
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>> i want to make it absolutely clear, so i want to be very clear about all of this. rioting is not protesting. looting is not protesting. setting fires is not protesting. none of this is protesting. it's lawlessness, plain and simple. and those who do it should be prosecuted. >> i notice you did not mention that your supporters were also in portland this weekend firing paint ball guns at people, some form of pepper spray do you want to take this chance to condemn your supporters -- >> i understand they had large numbers of supporters but it was a peaceful protest. and as a defensive mechanism, paint is not bullets. >> you know me, you know my heart, you know my story, my family's story. ask yourself, do i look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?
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really? i want a safe america. safe from covid. safe from crime and looting. safe from racially motivated violence. safe from bad cops. let me be crystal clear, safe from four more years of donald trump. >> if you don't condemn the actions of those like kyle rittenhouse. >> we're looking at all of it, it was an interesting situation. you saw the same tape as i saw and he was trying to get away from them, i guess, it looks like, and he fell, and they violently attacked him and it was something that we're looking at right now and it's under investigation. but i guess he was in very big trouble. he probably would have been killed but it's under investigation. >> look, if donald trump wants to ask the question who will keep you safer as president,
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let's answer that question. first, some simple facts. when i was vice president, violent crime fell 15% in this country. we did it without chaos and disorder. >> mika, you have joe biden calling for peace -- >> yeah. >> and you have donald trump defending a 17-year-old boy with an ar-15. >> stop right there. >> that shot and killed a guy at point blank range carrying a skateboard. and donald trump justified the shooting of a guy carrying -- now, mind you, by this point he had already shot and killed a man, and people were trying to disarm him and notified the cops that this 17-year-old boy had killed one person, then two people. went to him with their hands
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held up and they went past. but donald trump still, all these days later can't condemn a 17-year-old boy from out of kenosha, out of town, illegally having a firearm, an ar-15, and using an ar-15 military style weapon, to shoot a man point blank range and kill him. he's dead. he's dead. who was carrying a skateboard. and dump said the kid with the ar-15 wouldn't have survived. >> at the very least, there are incredible questions out of the rittenhouse case that the president could have touched on. but his answer was for another audience. alexi mchammond, what's the biden campaign's strategy? yesterday was powerful but you know president trump will do a fire hose of news conferences
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and tweets and his overpowering noise of accusations and lies against biden. can he keep this up every day? does that make sense? what are you hearing about how they're going to approach this opponent in the days to come? >> thank you for having me, mika and joe. good morning to you all. it feels like an incredibly dark time going through the things that the president is saying and doing. according to my reporting, it's clear that joe biden is not going to be out on the campaign trail every single day, any time soon. but what's also clear is he and his campaign feels a need to be physically present to counter act and rebut these false claims and attacks and lies coming from the president and his republican allies, especially on an issue like law and order, which the president is trying to make the defining issue heading into the election debates at the end of the month. so yesterday was a forceful rebuke from joe biden. you rarely see him out on the campaign trail in the covid era.
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that reiterates the point he knows this narrative is getting away from him. he had has so far left the attacks and accusations that the country would be unsafe under biden. yesterday he gave a review and said, look, these images are not images of an imagined america under joe biden these images of chaos and violence and civil unrest are images of donald trump's america. that's what we're going to hear from biden more. reminding folks this is not only donald trump's america and he has responsibility to assume for all this, but really ticking through the ways in which if he was elected president he would stop these things from the happening and the way he wants to keep the country safe. it's a rudimentary thing that you have to defend but to your point, president trump is going to be out there clouding the airwaves and making the noise to paint a picture of joe biden and
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also a country and america under joe biden. >> biden issued a statement after president trump's news conference which reads in part, quote, tonight the president declined to rebuke violence. he wouldn't even repudiate one of his supporters who is charged with murder because of his attacks on others. he's too weak, too scared of the hatred he has stirred to put an end to it. once again i urge the president to join me in saying that while peaceful protest is a right, a necessary, violence is wrong period, no matter who does it, no matter what political affiliation they have. if donald trump can't say that, then he is unfit to be president and his preference for more violence, not less, is clear. >> you know, john heileman, i want to get into polling in a second. i want to get into polling with you. just think about how remarkably inept donald trump's campaign -- everyone saying he's the new
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hitler, he's the darth, he has these incredible political forces. he's one of the most inept political campaign of our lifetime. he's run the most inept response to the coronavirus in our lifetime. every move he's made has been the wrong move this year. so let's look at -- he comes out of the convention, there is violence in kenosha, there are cars burning in kenosha, there is american carnage in kenosha, and his campaign team is very excited. they think thereit's going to bt wonderful for him. fast forward a few days later, you actually have joe biden saying i condemn violence of all kind. and donald trump can't repeat that. donald trump can't condemn violence on both sides. so he has now taken this issue that should have been a positive for him and he's actually managed, i would love to have used a word that i can't use
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this morning -- he's actually managed to screw it up. how do you do that? you have to be so inept. you've got the meltdown going on and you're talking -- you're comparing the shooting of a black man seven times in the back to 3-foot putts. you're talking about teenage ninja mutant turtles in black ropes filling airplanes going to the rnc. you're talking about white women not being protected from invading black masses in low income housing. and you give joe biden this extraordinary opening. it's yet another missed opportunity for donald trump. and it's extraordinary how bad he is campaigning. >> right. and joe, just to, you know, moving -- just focussing on the kenosha of it, right. we talked about last week in a very heavy law and order
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convention with trump running that play book, how -- what an amazing -- what an easy opportunity. what a give me it was for him politically where it would have cost nothing to express sympathy to jacob blake. to say the case is under investigation but my god my heart goes out to the family. not a word from him all last week. it was a political freebie for him. in the same way him expressing some outrage about george floyd was. it didn't take any of his k credentials with his racist bait. who want him to posture in a race baiting way. he did that with george floyd didn't lose much with the right. he says nothing about jacob blake now when it comes to the shooter, to kyle rittenhousritt again, this is a 17-year-old boy who got up -- you mentioned this yesterday i believe on air who
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got up and woke up in his home state of illinois, drove across state lines armed with a rifle to go and shoot people and accomplished that. there's complexity about what happened when he was on the ground, interesting elements of that story. trump is off on a tangent. the core part of the story is a white, trump supporting maga loving blue lives matter, social media partisan, 17 years old, picks up a gun, drives from one state to another with the intent to shoot people. on the politics of it, it would cost donald trump nothing with the law and order base for him to condemn that shooting. nothing. it would cost him nothing. and it might at least allow some people in the gettable votes in swing districts among suburban voters in places that he needs to add, rather than subtract if he's going to win in the battleground states it might
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make some of them think donald trump has not completely lost it. this is not a grotesque human force in the white house. at least he's acknowledging it's terrible that a black man got shot in the back seven times and it's not good that a 17-year-old vigilante, arguably a domestic terrorist picked up a rifle, drove to another state to shoot people. these are not hard calls. so to your point, the ineptitude on display is stunning. truly stunning. >> as you say, it wouldn't have cost him a thing. >> not a thing. >> not a thing. but again he just -- he's extraordinarily inept and misses so many opportunities any time he's had the chance to gain some momentum over the past four years he's failed miserably. let's look over a new morning consult poll out this morning. a lot of important numbers from swing states. >> biden up 8 points over president trump nationally, 51
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to 43. the battleground state numbers look relatively unchanged with the exception of arizona where biden picked up seven points to reach 52% and hold a ten point lead over president trump. biden holds a 10 point lead in michigan, colorado. four in pennsylvania. in georgia the former vice president is up by three, up by two in north carolina and florida. president trump is up by one in texas. and by five in ohio. >> so john heileman, a couple things here on the trump side it looks like if these polls are right he's starting to consolidate in ohio. there have been some numbers over the past couple weeks that suggested that's been happening. i think a lot of people suggested that would be happening i thought it would be happening sooner in texas, it's not. texas is still too close to call. i thought it would be happening by now in georgia, it's not.
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that race is still too close to call. but arizona, donald trump now losing arizona by ten points, it seems that the rnc was a disaster for him, coupled with the dnc. up ten points biden is in michigan as well. ten points in colorado. nine points in wisconsin. so i want to focus on arizona, the huge swing in arizona but also in wisconsin when morning consult released this pole at 6:00 a.m. this morning they took note of the fact that joe biden's support among white voters in kenosha has remained the same through the two conventions and through the violence in kenosha. his wisconsin support among white voters still the same, unchanged despite everything that's happened over the past two weeks. what are your takeaways from what you see there? >> well, i think, you know, joe, i think you've seen an extraordinary degree of democratic panic over this past weekend. i think coming out of the
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republican convention you could say it was the most predictable thing in the world. democrats who tend to panic, tend to be neurotic and are now suffering ptsd from 2016. you saw at the rank and file level from elite democrats. i think alexi mentioned the campaign was under pressure to address the law and order thing. but they heard conventioafter t conventions they were freaking out that donald trump is on something. joe biden is going to win the national vote by a lot and the battleground states are where the fight is going to be joined but we are seeing polling now -- i still want to see more good state level polling before we come to conclusions about how the conventions have netted out. on the basis of everything we know right now, it seems like the race is going to revert to -- it seems the race is on
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the way to reverting to where it was in mid august, which was with joe biden having solid, not overwhelming, not dispositive, but solid leads in all of the six battleground states -- or at least in four of the six with florida and north carolina being essentially toss ups. and that puts him in a position where he has a lot of paths to 270 electoral votes and donald trump has few. if these numbers settle in and we see good state level polling over the next couple of weeks that reinforces this polling that will cause democrats to breathe a sigh of relief and cause donald trump to go even crazier than he has the last 48 hours. >> it'll cause panic over the trump campaign if there are more polls that follow what we've seen in the abc poll regarding donald trump's favorability going down, joe biden's going up. these swing states remaining for the most part unchanged except
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arizona breaking in a big way for joe biden. because we're now in september. we're not at the stage you can't say it's early anymore. early voting begins in north carolina soon and also other swing states over the next several weeks. but mark leibovich, you take a look at the numbers and it looks like the two conventions, the violence in kenosha and portland right now seen politically to be a push. that, in fact, joe biden and donald trump are sitting about where they were before the democratic convention, other than the fact, according to that abc poll, about 5, 6% of americas have a more favorable view of joe biden than they did before it began. >> there have been polls in the last few days that have been better for trump, certainly even nationally in the last couple days than the morning consult
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one you just showed. i think one thing to keep in mind as we see more polls over the next few days is what we're going to see probably incorporates most of the two conventions. what i'm not sure it will incorporate is the last couple days, sunday, monday, today, the events in if portland, kenosha. especially whatever trump does today in kenosha, that's going to be a very, very hot event. i'm guessing there will be reaction and counter reaction in many ways. again i think the overall narrative of just friction, of the threat of violence, of the president not disavowing someone who shot two protesters in kenosha. things like that are potentially, i think, far more harmful to him than the, you know, somewhat conventional back and forth of two conventions which we're trying to incorporate into the recent slice of political life. the polls are going to be nosey,
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i don't know where it's going to revert to but i think john is right, the state level polls where this plays out, the quality of them is i think over the next few days we'll have a sample to look at this and we'll see where it all ends up, i do think wherever it reverts to, that's the question we'll talk about in a couple weeks is where the last home stretch into the debates is going to be playing out, though. >> mark leibovich, we know you have to go. thank you for being with us. we'll be reading your reporting for the "new york times" magazine. mika, just for people looking at these polls that we've been showing today, they actually -- this morning consult poll is a three day poll, rolling average over the past three days and included people last night who had actually seen the events over the weekend in kenosha, who had seen the end of the republican national convention and were actually asked last
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night their viewpoints. so it's as up to date as it can be. >> yeah and that convention, the republican -- that republican national convention was quite a pageant. it was very trump, but it didn't seem to really dig in and grab people like he did the first time around. alexi mchammond, you're looking at key senate races. what are you finding there? >> that's right for our axios and hbo show i interviewed democrat jaime harrison, who's running against lindsey graham in south carolina. you know as well as i do that a lot of people frankly thought this race was unwinnable for a democrat. now as of late, polls are showing that the race is effectively tied between harrison and graham. i think one of the major factors, of course, is this national unrest we're seeing. i think the renewed focus on
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systemic racism and police brutality and violence is giving a new look at these upstart democratic challengers especially in the competitive races like the south carolina senate race which has a republican who's reviled by a lot of democrats if not the majority of democrats. when i talked to jaime harrison for our hbo show he said if elected he hopes to usher in a new south. i know that sounds like something a politician would say but he articulated this idea that he has seen over the years in south carolina, and he was the democratic party chairman but he was saying he's seen over the years the change in support for lindsey graham not because of what he's done in the trump era or what he said lately but really because south carolina feels like lindsey graham does not care about the state. that's what's interesting. if you're a republican senator and constantly pulled off course because you have to talk about what president trump is talking about, that gives you less
quote
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opportunity to talk to your home state and that's incredibly important in a race like the south carolina race. >> thank you for your reporting this morning. >> thank you. joining us is a member of the foreign relations committee, democratic senator chris murphy of connecticut. author of the new book "the violence inside us" the brief history of an ongoing american tragedy. >> i have to ask you what your thoughts are yesterday about the president in a press conference and last night comparing the shooting of a black man by police seven times in the back to a golfer choking on a 3-foot putt. first of all, it's extraordinarily, extraordinarily offensive, i am sure, to the family of the black man shot in the back seven times as well as to other people of color across america. also, i would guess this one also manages to deeply offend
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police unions and the rank and file of the police, suggesting that life and death decisions are as easy as sinking a 3-foot putt. >> you saw the contrast in the campaign yesterday. the president of the united states unwilling to condemn violence no matter who commits it and joe biden standing up and condemning the use of violence, whether it's by supporters of the president or by folks that are out there protesting the president. i thought joe biden was also very effective in reminding people that violent crime came down by remarkable levels during the obama/biden presidency and this year we've seen a dramatic spike in violence. what i think is important also is you mentioned voters like to rally around their leaders during moments of crisis. but what americans know is that this crisis, these twin crises are caused by the president. we shouldn't still have epidemic levels of coronavirus in the
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country, it should have been gone by now and he is, in fact, stoking the violence. he is creating more chances for people to get hurt like those in kenosha. so people don't give the president credit for addressing the crisis because they know he, in fact, is the cause of the crisis. >> again, i want to get to your book, but also he sounded like he was a member of the klan, riding out in the late 1800s, early 1900s, when he talked about trying to keep poor housing, low income americans, out of suburbs because -- and this is -- this is the klan part, because of the women. he talks about basically said we can't -- we can't trust that our white women will be protected, is in effect his entire suggestion. again, so retrograde, and donald
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trump is so oblivious to the realities of 2020 that he actually thinks by saying that he's going to pick up votes in the suburbs among suburban women and all he's really doing is making them run away from his candidacy even more. >> right. listen, america has this long history of vigilante justice. i tell that story in the book but this is not a story of the 1920s where people want to think of themselves as vigilantes. so what the president is trying to do by refusing to condemn this young man in wisconsin is give a wink and a nod to others thinking of doing the same things, he's trying to send a message of encouragement to other young men who might bring
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an ar-15 to another protest so he can get more violence, unrest, and chaos, which he thinks is going to help him politically, i think he's wrong about that, but what he's right about is america has this long history of white people taking sort of law and order into their own hands at the expense of communities of color. >> all right. let's go to kasie hunt. she has a question for you. kasie? >> senator, good morning. good to see you. let's talk a little bit more about your book because obviously what we've been seeing on the streets of wisconsin, what happened with the 17-year-old boy is part of a larger story that has different threads and, you know, in many ways was focused with the tragedy in your home state of newtown. can you walk us through, you know, what we learn in in the context of your book and what you learned pulling it together?
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>> sure. i mean, this book is really the result of the last seven years of my life. my life was changed in 2012, and over the course of the last seven years i've tried to learn everything i can about why america is such a violent place and what we do about it. in this book, it's not a memoir, it's really a story about how we got to this moment. it's called the violence inside us because the conclusion i come to is that america is a violent place. we have always been a violent place. we've been bathed in violence since the time the american settlers experm naterminated na american tribes. but we chose to pour kerosene on this fire by allowing these dangerous weapons to flow throughout the nation creating more opportunities for ordinary arguments to turn into deadly moments. so if you want to understand why we've gotten to a place today in
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which there is so much violence in the nation, whether it's homicide, civil unrest, suicide, this book will tell you why we got here but it also gives prescription for a path forward. it does start with just decreasing the number of weapons in the hands of wrong people and making sure 17-year-old kids can't easily get their hands on a deadly weapon like an ar-15 to bring to a protest rally in a different state. >> the new book is "the violence inside us: a brief history of an ongoing american tragedy". senator chris murphy thank you very, very much for being on the this morning. >> thank you. we want to turn to the economy now and wall street just posting its best august since the 1980s. let's bring in former treasury official and economic analyst steve ratner who has charts to help explain what's going on. >> steve before we get to the
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charts, i want to follow-up with something we talked about last time you were here. when this broke, i remember mika and i talking and talking to some other people about it. again, the fact that the coronavirus actually, as bad as it was going to be for main street would be good for wall street because a lot of ceos were going to look at this as an opportunity to cut costs, cut major head, pay a lot less in rent and pay a lot less in personnel. so why wouldn't investors look at this as something positive for wall street while it could be something very bad, almost disastrous for main street over the long run? >> yeah, joe. i agreed with you last time and i still agree with you. and i continue to talk to other investors, to ceos, to companies and do believe what you said is true. that companies are using this as a chance to step back and look
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at their businesses and decide how many people they really need to operate their businesses, how much capital expenditure they really need. i don't want to bring this conversation too close to home but i was talking to a friend the other day that was a ceo of a broadcast company, he said i had 20 people in my control room now i have 7, i don't know that i need to go back to 20. that's the conversations you have here. >> let me say here, for people in our control room, you need to go back to 20. steve, let's go back to the charts. what do your charts show us today? >> we do have the mystery of high stock prices, which is as you have implied, why the stock is so high when the economy is still struggling. there are a number of reasons, and trump is obviously trying to take credit for this, i'm going to show you why i don't think he deserves credit for this. people who believe in a v-shaped recovery that the stock market's
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job is to anticipate a v-shaped recovery, if you look at this chart from 2009 you can see the market hit bottom just as job losses were at their worse and climbed back up as the economy was recovering, although it was a long, long way back. i think that in today's context, the economy is too uncertain to believe that this is really what is driving the stock market at the moment. so let's turn to what i think is the principle driver, which i think is the federal reserve which has pumped vast amount of liquidity into the market, driven interest rates to zero, and caused the situation, you can see on the chart, you can make a higher yield on dividends on the s&p 500 than you can from many other things people put their money in. you can make 1.7% in dividends from the s&p but only.7 if you
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buy treasuries. obviously stock prices can go down but over time they tend to go up. so having a higher dividend yield as well as the possibility of future appreciation is a strong incentive to buy stocks. so you can see on the next chart what happened this time is stocks had the fastest decline in history basically to march 23rd and they turn around on march 23rd, which coincidentally or not happened to be the day the fed announced the first round of big purchases of assets and interest rate depressing moves and things like that and the stock market has climbed back ever since then, including a rise of about 7% just this past month while the fed was reiterating its low interest rate policy. you have huge amounts of liquidity driving down rates, yields on other instruments and driving people essentially into the stock market. there are other things going on out there.
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you have more individual investors in the market today doing day trades than we've had before. that may have had some impact and so forth. but on balance, i don't believe that it's really trump's economic policies that are driving the stock market as much as it is the fed's actions and the amount of liquidity put in the market and the effect that's had on returns from dividends from treasuries and money market funds and things like that. >> john heileman is with us and has a question. john? >> steve, what's your sense of -- i mean, just give us a sense of the outlook as we head towards november. you know, there was a long -- earlier this year there was a lot of concern among democrats who thought as we headed towards election day, there was kind of going to be a large surge in gdp and on november 1st or so,
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donald trump, even though the net of the four years for donald trump's economic outcomes were going to be poor that there was such a surge on the comeback from coronavirus that the third quarter numbers would be so strong that trump would have a strong claim to make for getting the economy back growing again. right now as we sit here on september 1st, how does that scenario look to you? if something democrats should still be concerned about or are we in a different place than what people feared three months ago or so? >>, you know, it's a class half full, glass half empty kind of question, john. your question is right we are going to see numbers that come out we'll have unemployment numbers this friday, another set later, those are the last two before the election. and then we have the third quarter gdp number, which is going to show a substantial rebound and the president will try to take credit for that and we'll talk about how that's the
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way back. two problems with that, the first is the number comes out on the thursday before election day so he does not have time to use that and try to make arguments. and the second thing is it's going to show and people like me will try to point this out, yeah, the third quarter was a bounce back but it's only a partial bounce back from the huge decline we had in the second quarter, smaller decline in the first quarter. so i would still argue that americans are going to go to the polls on november 3rd with unemployment pretty close to double digits, which is obviously extraordinarily high by standards, with job growth slowing so perhaps each month fewer job are coming back we'll see. you don't have an agreement between the republicans and the democrats on a stimulus program. that's going to cause consumers to pull back and you'll see evidence of that by election day as well.
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that's going to be the argument between republicans and the democrats but i don't think trump has a strong argument we'll have to see how well he does at advocating it. >> steve ratner thanks for being on. coming up joe biden fends off another lie lobbed at him by the president. we'll clear that up when we come back. that up when we come back what do you look for when you trade? i want free access to research. yep, td ameritrade's got that. free access to every platform. mhm, yeah, that too. i don't want any trade minimums. yeah, i totally agree, they don't have any of those. i want to know what i'm paying upfront. yes, absolutely. do you just say yes to everything? hm. well i say no to kale. mm. yeah, they say if you blanch it it's better, but that seems like a lot of work. now offering zero commissions on online trades. we charge you less so you have more to invest. ♪ ♪
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with the clean energy strategy, that's a place for the energy workers right here in western pennsylvania. i am not banning fracing. let me say that again. i am not banning fracing. no matter how many times donald trump lies about me. >> it's amazing. you know, you look at the facebook ads, what a shock, gene robinson, facebook allows lies and they make lots of money
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getting -- maybe from russia, who the hell knows. but one of these lies on these facebook ads and all the other ads are, you know, this poor working class guy in pennsylvania, he's taking away my fracing jobs. donald trump says, i'll keep your fracing jobs. sleepy joe wants to take away -- it's a lie. just like he lied yesterday about what joe biden did or didn't say in his speech. you don't want to chase all the lies but this one actually matters in pennsylvania and he's just lying through his teeth saying biden doesn't support fracing, when he does. >> that's right. it's a lie. we heard it at the republican convention and it's simply not true. so joe biden went to pittsburgh to make that statement in pennsylvania, a state where fracing is important because pennsylvania is a state he plans to bring back into the
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democratic column, a state donald trump needs to win. and biden job intends to win it. winning political campaigns are a little bit paranoid in that they want to make sure they shore up any potential weaknesses, they want to take care of it and make sure it doesn't. then they stay on the offense, too. and i think that -- i think biden did a good job of that yesterday with his speech. and the key three words are, donald trump's america. look around. this is donald trump's america. you know, disease,destituition, this is donald trump's america. this is the kind of chaos we have. it's what he brought us, it's what we need to get away from. he will only bring more. he will only make it worse.
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i'm not the chaos candidate. i'm the candidate of all america. i want to represent all americans. i want to be president. i want to put us back on a sensible path and a profitable path, an american path. that's the message. >> it's pretty simple. >> donald trump has been pres t president for four years now. we are in donald trump's america. he talked about american carnage, when the economy was in the middle of a huge surge, eight-year surge, seven-year surge. and now look at it. this is donald trump's america. there is american carnage brought to you by donald trump. and the most important thing to remember is, is donald trump tries to make violence in the streets an issue. you have one candidate, joe
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biden, who condemns all violence and another candidate who refuses to condemn violence, refuses to even condemn the 17-year-old kid crossing state lines, going to a town that's not his own, to try to protect property that's not his own. and ends up shooting point blank with an ar-15 a kid in the chest who has a skateboard. donald trump said he had to do it or the guy holding the ar-15 would be killed by the guy holding the skateboard. this is donald trump's america. next to come, the "new yorker's" donald filkins behind the politics behind florida voter laws. more from joe biden's speech yesterday where he said the president is stoking violence to win votes. that as the president is scheduled to visit kenosha today. "morning joe" is back in a moment. >> these are not images of some
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imagined joe biden america in the future. these are images of donald trump's america today. he keeps telling you, if only he was president, it wouldn't happen. if he was president. he keeps telling us that if he was president, you would feel safe. well, he is president, whether he knows it or not. khenows it or not rivers save 4! guys! guys! safe drivers save 40%!!! safe drivers save 40%! safe drivers save 40%!!! that's safe drivers save 40%. it is, that's safe drivers save 40%. - he's right there. - it's him! safe drivers do save 40%. click or call for a quote today. you should be mad they gave this guy a promotion. safe drivers do save 40%. you should be mad at forced camaraderie. and you should be mad at tech that makes things worse. but you're not mad, because you have e*trade, who's tech makes life easier by automatically adding technical patterns on charts and helping you understand what they mean. don't get mad.
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i want to make it absolutely clear so i can be very clear about all of this. rioting is not protesting. looting is not protesting. setting fires is not protesting. none of this is protesting. it's lawlessness. plain and simple. and those who do it should be prosecuted. >> i noticed you did not mention that your supporters were also in portland this weekend firing paint ball guns at people, some with pepper spray. do you want to take a chance to condemn what your supporters do? >> i understand they had large
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numbers of people that were supporters, but that was a peaceful protest. and paint is not -- and paint is a defensive mechanism. paint is not bullets. >> they're shooting paint, first of all. they're driving through and shooting paint and spraying people on the sides of the streets, and, again, he still -- it's incredible. you have two candidates yesterday. and even for those who have reality distortion fields around donald trump, it's obvious even to them. you have two sets of candidates. one candidate is condemning violence from both sides. and he talks about protests that are reduced into violence and the lawlessness will not be tolerated and he said they
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should be prosecuted. on the other side, you have another candidate, in this case the president of the united states, who refuses to condemn violence, who encourages people to go in and stir up violence. and i thank "the wall street journal" editorial page. i condemmend them, i should say for telling the president to cut that out because that's just stirring up violence. and then you have the president who still won't condemn a 17-year-old boy, a boy, who left his home in illinois and hurt his mom, i can't believe that, left his home and then went around trying to defend property that was not his, right? to a town that was not his own and ended up killing two people
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and wounding a third. it's very telling, of course, that sort of tragic vigilanteism. >> very tragic. >> followed donald trump actually promoting and glorifying the rnc, people that held up guns in front of their homes and pointed those guns at people who were marching past. and we're going to show some new polls that are out this morning. >> we're going to get to them. for people that lose faith in the common sense of most america americans, they're going to see through this. you'll see in polls in a minute how they are seeing through this. i predicted, as it was happening, that june 1st was going to be a defining moment in this campaign, that donald trump beating up protesters with the
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help of barr, peaceful protesters and gassing them, so he could hold a bible upside down in a way that holding a bible that senator langford said, he's never seen anybody hold a bible that way, despite the fact he's been studying the bible every day his entire life. that was michael dukakis in the tank in 1988. it was one of those defining moments. it didn't work. i've got to say that i fear that wh rittenhouse, the 17-year-old kid, just running around, shooting and killing protesters, coming at him with a skateboard, is going to be another such defining moment because this is the chaos that donald trump has let loose. why do i say that? because he won't condemn it. >> exactly.
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>> he won't tell people to stay home he won't even condemn qanon. he won't even condemn the worst elements of society. he will if it's on the left. he will if it's in cities, what he calls democratic cities. but the problem with that is the kenosha police department told us yesterday that of the people who were arrested in those protests, the overwhelming majority came from outside the city. in fact, they came from 44 different cities. it is people of kenosha, which donald trump claims is a democratic town, i guess, they're being invaded by people
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that donald trump would say were from his america. see, donald, it's all of your america. you don't understand that. you never will. i personally believe that's why you're going to be voted out in the fall because we are one america and i wish you could do what joe biden is doing right now. and that is condemn violence on all sides in the strongest of terms. >> yeah, i mean, what we saw yesterday, and we'll show you a lot this morning, joe biden had a powerful speech and donald trump went out and talked again as well. you see the difference between with someone who loves this country, respects the constitution, respects the law and knows good when he sees it and knows evil when he sees it. or a president who says, we'll see what happens and likes to keep that chaos moving along.
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that's the choice in just a matter of days, actually. >> and you know, mika, this is the same guy, we brought it up in real time when he was doing it, i wrote about it in "the washington post" column, this is a guy that constantly talked about beating up people back in the good old days. they used to beat up people, dragging them out. if you beat up people, i will pay for your defense. i had long said he was disqualified back even in february after he denied knowing who david duke and the kkk was. i remember -- think about this, folks, he was talking about second amendment solutions to stop hillary clinton from selecting federal judges and supreme court justices. he was suggesting that people who support second amendment
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assassinate hillary clinton. they're saying the republican party has no choice. they have to take him off the ticket. they haven't so now here we are, they're coming up on election. mika, they've ignored all these warnings for four years. and they're going to be routed. >> everything he has joked about is true. >> it's not a joke with him. >> with us we have nbc news correspondent, kasie hunt, pulitzer prize winning columnist and msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson. and chief white house correspondent for "the new york times," peter baker. so, let's get to the new poll you were talking about, joe. new morning consult poll out just now showing it is race between joe biden and president trump largely unmoved by both party conventions. nationally biden is up by eight
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over president trump, 51% to 43%. in battleground state numbers look unchanged with the exception of arizona, where biden picked up seven points to reach 52% and hold a ten-point lead over president trump. biden holds a ten-point lead over michigan and colorado. up by nine in wisconsin. seven in minnesota and four in pennsylvania. in georgia, the former vice president is up by three and up by two in north carolina and florida. president trump is up by one point in texas and up by five in ohio. >> there are two numbers that are going to jump out, not just for the trump campaign, for the biden campaign. and i think also they should jump out for people in the media. they keep talking about kenosha. here are the two numbers. first of all, the first number, arizona. a huge jump in arizona.
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we'll see if other polls follow. then in wisconsin, morning consult, when they released this poll, said most notably, joe biden's support among white voters in wisconsin is unchanged from before the conventions and even after the recent riots in kenosha. a lot to -- a lot to digest in all those polls. what are some of your takeaways? >> i think that's right. it's one poll and it's hard to get too worked up about any individual poll. remember, we've had a lot of time to go and only a few days since the conventions but this should give some relief to democrats who were worried that donald trump, president trump, has gained some traction with the law and order issue in recent days. if wisconsin at this point is still strongly behind biden, the numbers there are as they are in that morning consult poll, that may tell them that they are less
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vulnerable than they thought. there's no question in the recent few days that the trump campaign has felt some sense of momentum, some sense of actually having a more sustained message they could rely on. talk about something other than the coronavirus and the economy and it will rile their voters and get their own base going. if it's not working for them, then we'll see whether that continues past labor day. i think you'll see a lot more after the president arrives in kenosha. he's planning to be there and damage areas and highlight the mobs in the street. he's not scheduled at this point to meet with the family of jacob blake, the black man who was shot seven be times in the back and whose incident actually sparked some of the most recent protests and violence in the streets. he's taking one side. he's not trying to calm people. he does see this as a political
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issue. he's made very clear he sees it in partisan terms. in fact, he lays it at the feet of joe biden as if biden was responsible for the violence in the streets. >> still ahead, eugene robinson has a message for people worried that trump can come back to beat biden and that message is, good. we'll dig into that next on "morning joe." ." ♪ book two separate qualifying stays and earn a free night. the open road is open again. and wherever you're headed, choice hotels is there. book direct at choicehotels.com.
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so, gene robinson, this is actually -- if you step back and you even listen to what the white house people close to donald trump are saying in the white house, this is really the equivalent of a political smoke bomb. they are doing everything possible to stop the media and stop the democrats and stop americans from looking at those numbers in the coronavirus, over 180,000 people dead. over 6 million people in america infected by it.
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the united states doing more poorly than everybody else. and donald trump has made the calculation, i am going to tweet 90 times on sunday morning, maybe, just maybe people won't be talking about the coronavirus because when they talk about the coronavirus, i'm losing. so, a 17-year-old kid going around shooting people, okay, donald trump's thinking, that will distract. people will talk about that. chaos in portland, let's talk about that. that stops americans from looking at the coronavirus and the 6 million americans who have had the coronavirus. but, gene, while we do that, let's jump back to the polls for one second because i think it's fascinating. one of the funniest things i heard is the white house staff high-fiving each other after june 1st. funny how bad their political instincts are. the second we saw it, we knew it was going to be a disaster. they thought that was success.
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going around telling anybody who will listen that the president's new law and order pitch is going to be great to you him politically as well. in fact, it's going to blow up in his face politically. >> yeah. and this trip to kenosha he's taking today could be just like the june 1st debacle. it could end up driving voters away rather than bringing them to his side. you're absolutely right that the white house is trying to use kenosha and portland as a smoke screen, as a diversion. for the obvious reasons you just stated, they don't want to talk about the coronavirus. it's kind of a weird thing to try because we all live with the coronavirus every day. this defines our lives in a way
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that few external factors can define the lives of every american. so, it's a dubious strategy, i think, to avoid it, but he's trying to avoid it because he has nothing good to say about it. and so he's trying to use this issue of protests and the violence, the chaos, which he loves. as a way of creating some sort of illusion of momentum for the trump campaign. and before we saw this polling, i think i wrote in my column this morning, it was an illusion of momentum. i think if the polling is right, it is clearly an illusion. there's momentum in the swing states, it looks like it's in the opposite direction. we'll see. it's just one poll. coming up, we'll show you more of joe biden's pointed
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amid the back drop of violent protests that have escalated, former vice president joe biden has launched a new attack against president trump. during a visit to battleground pennsylvania yesterday, biden gave a blistering speech. accusing trump of sowing chaos and division. in his remarks, biden directly challenged trump's claim that americans won't be safe if democrats win in november and condemned the recent violence seen in several u.s. cities. >> i want to make it absolutely clear, rioting is not protesting. looting is not protesting. setting fires is not protesting. none of this is protesting. it's lawlessness. plain and simple. and those who do it should be prosecuted.
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you know me. you know my heart. you know my story, my family's story. ask yourself, do i look like a radical socialist who had a soft spot for rioters? really? i want a safe america, safe from covid. safe from crime and looting. safe from racially motivated violence. safe from bad cops. let me be crystal clear. safe from four more years of donald trump. look, if donald trump wants to ask the question, who will keep you safer as president, let's answer that question. first, some simple facts. when i was vice president, violent crimes fell 15% in this country. we did it without chaos and disorder. this is a sitting president of the united states of america. he's supposed to be protecting
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this country, but instead he's rooting for chaos and violence. le simple truth is, donald trump failed to protect america. so now he's trying to scare america. donald trump has been a toxic presence in our nation for four years. poisoning how we talk to one another. poisoning how we treat one another. poisoning the values this nation has always held dear. poisoning our very democracy. now, just a little over 60 days, we have a decision to make. will we rid ourselves of this toxin or will we make a permanent part, we make it a permanent part of our nation's character? >> you know, campaigns are all about contrast, especially when you're challenging somebody. the contrast between joe biden's decency, exhibited there in that
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statement, and donald trump, could not be more extreme, especially in these chaotic times. >> terrible times. >> yeah, terrible times. and joe biden also talked about how most cops were good cops and when they put on that badge and went out at night, they were putting their lives on the line every single night and he believed that he could bring people together and have police and protesters at the same table and work through police reforms. kasie hunt, despite the fact that joe biden has said repeatedly that he condemns violence, you've had trump supporters and people in the blogosphere and trump media saying joe biden won't condemn the violence. he did it again yesterday in unambiguous terms. what do you think the impact is? >> you saw it right there. we just played it for everyone. i think the fact that joe biden went and made this speech shows,
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first of all, he himself thought it was important from a moral perspective to make that argument. it also shows they were feeling political pressure and an imperative to make sure they were going out there and pushing back against this momentum the trump campaign has been feeling because of what we've been seeing. i think this all comes down to what has become the central narrative of this race and the central problem for donald trump, which is he keeps trying to convince americans that joe biden isn't somebody he obviously is. americans have been living with joe biden as a public figure for 50 years. that's why he can stand there on a stage and say, look at me, do i look like the kind of guy that thinks this is okay? and have people actually believe him. the question is, if you are the trump campaign and you want to make this argument that i'm the law and order guy that's going to be safer if i'm president of the united states, you have to actually be able to look people in the face and say -- have them
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think, yes, things will be calmer, the temperature will be reduced, things will be more sane, i'll feel safer and less on edge if donald trump is president of the united states. and i would submit to you a lot of other people in those polls, those battleground polls, perhaps, don't necessarily feel like the next four years will be calmer and more straightforward if president trump is in the white house. coming up, a look at life on the campaign trail alongside the first openly gay major presidential candidate when chasten buttigieg joins the conversation. "morning joe" is back in a moment. conversation "morning joe" is back in a moment microban 24.
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whose new piece for "the new yorker," republican leaders continue a long fight over who can vote. dexter, you say this has been going on for quite some time. tell us about it. >> well, it has been going on for a long time. it really started in earnest after the election of barack obama in 2008. and what -- essentially what republican leaders discovered, want just in florida, but around the country, particularly in the south, was that -- was that basically their coalition, which is to say mostly white, mostly older voters was not getting bigger, it was getting smaller. and so what they learned essentially is if they could keep turnout down and that low turnout elections tended to favor republicans, so what that meant, and kind of -- they started manipulating and changing the voting rules, and
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it's like arcane stuff nobody was paying attention to, including -- i mean, i grew up in florida. i had no idea, so just by adjusting voting rules ever so slightly, they could keep turnout down. they basically just make it harder to vote. you tighten voter registration rules. you say things like, instead of early voting lasting three weeks, early voting lasts six days. things like that. and the result is that they have been able to sort of keep turnout down. in a place like florida, which is a perfect representation of the united states, the elections are raiszor, razor close, as we all know. every vote counts and every rule change counts. they figured that out and they very quietly have been
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manipulating changing those rules for basically the last 12 years. >> talking about the florida felon effort to give felons a right to vote again, they received it and it was taken away. explain what happened there. >> this is a perfect example of what i'm talking about. the florida constitution says that anyone convicted of a felony can never vote again ever, basically. so, in 2018, there was a statewide ballot petition to basically amend the constitution and to allow felons to vote. for every basically nonviolent felon. so, if you committed a murder or rape, it didn't apply. and that past -- 65% of the voters passed that, approved that. suddenly you have basically the largest enfranchisement of
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voters since the since the voting age was dropped to 18, from 21 to 18 in the early 1970s. so, what happens instead of bringing in close to a million new voters in florida, former felons, half of them are black, the republican-controlled legislature passed a law almost immediately that said, nope, hang on, you have to pay your fines. you have to pay restitution. you have to pay your court costs. anything outstanding like that until you pay it, and in many cases, in most cases that's thousands of dollars, you can't vote. and so suddenly this mass enfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of people is put on hold. that's being fought out right now as we speak. >> kasie hunt is with us and has a question. kasie?
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>> yeah, we don't have sound. we'll be working on kasie's mic. so, how long -- let me ask you. what does 2020, what is it shaping up to be in florida? i mean, obviously we had complaints when rick scott was governor of extraordinarily long lines, especially in black neighborhoods and hispanic neighborhoods. there were the complaints that he and other florida republican governors specifically made it much harder to vote by having fewer voting places in florida neighborhoods. have you found that to be the case? and is 2020 continuing that trend or is it possibly even worse? >> i -- personally i'm really worried. i think the count so far -- the forecast is there will be 4 million ballots -- 4 million mail-in ballots. those will be coming in and
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people will be trying to count those. in florida, this is like most states, your ballot to be counted has to arrive by election day. even if it was postmarked two weeks before. if it comes in after election day, then it doesn't get counted. i mean, think about that. if you look at recent elections in florida, 2018, you had thousands of pal lots coming in after election day. thousands perform something like 15,000. you had 170,000 come in on election day or the day before. basically, it's like an ocean of mail-in ballots are going to be coming and they're going to be up against this really crushing deadline to get in by election day. of course, we know that the post office has been sort of fiddled with. it's terrifying. you know, we're talking
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potentially around the country millions of voters because of these rules that mail-in ballots have to be received by election day. that's just one rule. there's a bunch of those. but i think that's the -- that's the one that scares me the most. >> kasie? >> dexter, what's in the works now? you talked about how legislature has made the adjustments in felons voting, but i have to think there are lawyers in both parties thinking about election night, election week, if that's how this counts goes. what should we be expecting on that front? >> that's a great question. and the answer is, yes. i think both sides are going to be ready. i know the democratic party has trained thousands of lawyers just in florida in election law to be ready for election day. they're going to have basically lawyers in every county and in
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many of the bigger precincts around the state. and i think the republican party is basically gearing up to do the same. so if it's close in florida or if it's close in any state, but particularly florida because it's 29 electoral votes, you're going to have -- you know, i think the potential for chaos is gre great, but both sides, i think it's fair to say, are cranked up and getting ready for the big day. you could have a scene of like, you know, lots of arguments and lots of lawsuits and lots of ballot disputes. all of this suggests, fshg, we're not going to get a result right away. the thing that freaks me out is the idea they'll be fighting it out for weeks down there. anybody old enough to remember the bush/gore race how crazy that was and the country wasn't
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nearly as polarized. >> dexter filkins, thank you so much. his new reporting is the new if niche of "the new yorker." we appreciate you coming on. before leaving pittsburgh yesterday, joe biden attended a virtual lgbtq fund-raiser where he continued to criticize the trump administration for encroaching on lgbtq rights and reiterated his pledge to sign the equality act if elected president. mayor pete buttigieg appeared at that event and joining us is his husband, chasten buttigieg, who is out today with a new memoir entitled "i have something to tell you." chasten, welcome. great to have you on the show. you share a lot about overcoming some incredible obstacles and even abuse in your life, but what is it overall in the book
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you want people to know, what is it you want to tell us? >> the thing i wanted people to take away from the book, and i hope they do, that they're not alone. many things that happened to me along the way, i felt i needed to keep locked up inside, whether it was growing up gay in northern michigan or coming out, being different. when i went out on the campaign trail and met thousands of people, i realize, these stories aren't unique. they are american. i hope people pick up this book and realize they're not alone. i go into some dark stuff. life isn't always glossy and perfect and i wanted to share that because i want people to see that on the page. oh, that's happened to somebody else, too. >> can you tell us how the campaign either changed you, what surprised you by it all, what you didn't like about it, because you guys -- mayor pete was really a breakout star in
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the campaign. >> yeah. i don't know if we have enough time to go through everything i'd want to say about that, but that's a good chunk of the bock. i was never political, so i went out on the campaign trail and i talked about what i knew. and i met with teachers and students and i toured lgbtq centers. i toured centers of homeless service providers. i just wanted people to know that our campaign saw them. they weren't alone and we were going to go to washington and fight for them. i loved talking with people. i loved meeting people face to face. if you spend all day on twitter and you spend all day online, it can be a pretty dark place. but when you go out and look someone in the eyes, a kid holding your hand talking about their coming out story, you can share your own experience, your filled with hope about where this country can go and what service is supposed to look like. it's about meeting people and looking them in the face and saying, i am going to fight for you. i want things to be better for you. i loved all of that. i mean, of course, there was,
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you know, drama and it was exhausting and we were sometimes in four or five states a day. i go through all of that in the bo book. the best part was meeting with people, especially young people talking about a better, more hopeful future for this country. >> kasie hunt will take the next question. kasie? >> chasten, good morning. it's great to see you. i'm curious -- >> good morning. >> what is it like to be in the political spouse's club in a way that's different than what we've seen in the past? doug imhof, kamala harris's husband might be the first second gentleman of the united states. you and pete are first examples where you are the spouse in that kind of situation. did you get to be friends with the other spouses and what is the new dynamic like? >> i love doug and jill are on the ticket because they were the two that welcomed me into that arena so quickly. the first debate, i walked in,there i was expecting like a
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dance moms feeling where everyone is, you know, quiet, not talking to one another because our spouses are up there on stage. but they were so kind and warm and welcoming. as a political spouse you're supposed to be, and i talk about this in the book, a little bit of everything and nothing. you're supposed to be out front. you have to be well read on all the policies. you can't mess up. you're also not supposed to hog the spotlight. you're not supposed to be the star so you have to walk this tight rope figuring out exactly who to be and who to be for everyone. a country, a campaign and your spouse. that's a very small club of people who actually know what that's like. i loved chatting with jill and doug on the campaign trail. the thing i love about doug, he's so sweet and genuine. you feel that. he's up there because he loves his wife. many times i was up on the stage and i knew nothing about politics. i felt like i just knew nothing but the thing i knew is i loved my husband and i thought he'd make a great president. the exact same thing he was doing. so, when you have a small cohort
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like that, you can bond over all of those awkward feelings you're going through on the campaign trail. >> except the thing is, you know who the real star is, and that would be buddy. but i guess it's pete as well. >> he's sitting right here at my feet. >> oh. >> buddy loves the spotlight. >> the new book is "i have something to tell you." chasten buttigieg, thank you for coming on the show. we really appreciate it. up next, as prominent critic of russian president vladimir putin, alexei navalny recovers after bei ining poiched last mo. another kremlin critic was attacked in moscow over the weekend. >> of course, dead silence from donald trump. >> of course. as we go to break, we wanted to show you the scene at the university of alabama yesterday. where hundreds of students,
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athletes, coaches and staff marched against social injustices by police and police brutality. led by head football coach nick sab saban. he said the decision to walk was made as a team and he's very proud and supportive of how students were conveying their message on social inequality. we'll be right back. h. yep, td ameritrade's got that. free access to every platform. yeah, that too. i want to know what i'm paying upfront. yes, absolutely. now offering zero commissions on online trades. who trust in our performance and comfortable, long-lasting protection. because your strength is supported by ours. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you. you power through chronic migraine - 15 or more headache days a month, ...each lasting 4 hours or more. botox® prevents headaches in adults with chronic migraine.
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for china's state broadcaster has been detained in beijing. the australian foreign ministry confirmed yesterday chen hue worked for the global television network for eight years on english language business news. the australian government has not provided further information on her case. the chinese government has not publicly commented either. australia's public broadcaster reports that lei has not been charged and is being held under what is called residential surveillance where chinese investigators can imprison and question a suspect for up to six months. cutting off access to lawyers before a formal arrest. lei's two children are reportedly with family members in australia. in russia, another kremlin critic was attacked in moscow. it comes as navalny, a
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critic of vladimir putin, recovers in a german hospital after being poisoned on a flight last month. igor zukov is a russian student and blogger who interviewed navalny. on sunday he was allegedly attacked by two unknown assailants in front of his home. he is currently hospitalized with facial lacerations and possibly a brain injury. >> incredible. >> joining us now, best-selling journalist and war correspondent scott anderson. he's author of "the quiet americans: four cia spies at the dawn of the cold war, a tragedy in three acts." >> so, scott, you write of a time that i've always been fascinated by, and that is the end of world war ii and the years that followed. we saw a new world across the globe take shape and a lot of
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undercurrents going in a lot of different directions. talk about this book and why you wrote it. >> i've always been fascinated by the early years of the cold war because so much of what was to come later on was cemented into place in those early years. these were the years of the berlin blockade in 1948 and then later the cia coups in guatemala and iran. but in trying to tell this history, i always -- i have always been interested in history through the eyes of participants and people on the ground. and for the cold war, these frontline soldiers were spies on both sides. so for the book, i focus on four cia officers who operated throughout this period from the end of world war ii to the mid-1950s. and the idea of being to see these formative years of the cold war through their eyes and
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experiences. >> you know, scott, it's fascinating that, you know, i was raised in the cold war era family. always considered myself a cold warrior through '89, '91. but even so, i think your book underlines that, yes, we were fighting against malignant forces that killed up to 50 million, 60 million of their own between stalin and mao. at the same time, even something we celebrate, the truman doctrine, was, in effect, put in place to protect and preserve a right-wing government in greece that acted abhorrently at times to their own people. and it was, again, very ugly, difficult decisions we had to make between stalin and very bad actors on the local level. >> that's right. there really is this remarkable arc in this 12-year period i
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focus on from 1944 to 1956. fdr, throughout the war, was talking about this war was going to be the end of colonial empires that were sources of resentment in the third world. america was going to be this force for democracy around the world. and then very quickly with the advent of the cold war, and you can make the argument the cold war started even before the end of world war ii, the united states had to start picking sides in places around the world. what you have even less than 12 years later is the united states propping up colonial empires around the world. the british and the french. and overthrowing democratic regimes as in guatemala and iran. so there's this remarkable arc of -- in just this 12-year period that's really quite startling. >> there's a story of michael burke, lan landsdale, seisel and
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can you tell us what drew you to them and why you feel they represent this entire time period so well? >> i'll talk about peter sichella. he was kind of my, the proverbial finding a box of letters in the attic. peter is 97 years old, about to turn 98. sharp as a tack. he's really the last member of this generation of cia officers who is still alive. he served with the office of strategic services in world war ii which is kind of the precursor to the cia. but as an indication of just how clueless the united states was about the coming conflict with the soviet union, peter was said to head up the first clandestine covert operations unit in berlin immediately after world war ii. thousands of soviet spies and intelligence operatives were
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operating in berlin at the time. peter headed up a unit of nine men, and he had just turned 24. >> wow. >> head of the covert operations unit in berlin through the incredibly pivotal years up through 1952. he was brought back to headquarters in washington in '52 and ended up being cia station chief in hong kong. and the interesting thing with the arc of his story, he had seen the disastrous consequences of all these cia operations in eastern europe where they were trying to infiltrate anti-communist partisans across the iron curtain. almost all of them infiltrated by the kgb from the get-go. they all ended in disaster. in 1960 when he was station chief in hong kong, the cia announced they were going to come up with a new campaign like this for mao's china. it was going to be a $100 million project, dropping people behind enemy lines, and after the end of this presentation, peter went to the cia deputy
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chief and said, we'd save a lot of time and money if we just killed them ourselves. i'm out. i quit. that was the end of his career with the cia. >> the new book is "the quiet americ americans." scott anderson, thank you for being on the show. before we close today, here is one more look at president trump showing us who he really is. take a listen. >> shouldn't toting the guy in many times. couldn't you have done something different? couldn't you have wrestled him? in the meantime, he might have been going for a weapon and there's a whole big thing there. but they choke, just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot -- >> you're not comparing it to golf. >> i'm saying people choke. >> but he actually was comparing it to golf. >> you can try and say you're not, but he just did. >> he was, just like when he was talking about how low-income
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housing coming near the suburbs would bring crime and women would be in danger. that's a racist trope not from 1955 but from 1855. >> that does it for us this morning. geoff bennett picks up the coverage right now. thanks, mika. good morning. i'm geoff bennett in for stephanie ruhle. it's tuesday, september 1st. we're watching the white house where the president is set to depart this morning for kenosha, wisconsin, nine days after the police shooting of jacob blake that sparked massive protests in kenosha and across the country. he does not plan to meet with blake's family during his visit. the white house says he'll instead visit, quote, damaged areas. and on the eve of the trip, the president defended kyle rittenhouse, the 17-year-old trump supporter who is charged with fatally shooting two protesters in kenosha one week ago.

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